In April, I cautioned that an American ban on drilling in the Atlantic Ocean would diminish national security. It is deeply unsettling that our federal administration decided to block oil and gas exploration there. But the even more disconcerting news is that a similar situation is now taking shape in Alaska. The latest indications from Washington D.C. suggest that the White House is considering imposing a similar ban in the Arctic, leaving the Gulf of Mexico as the only available area in the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. That decision would effectively mean that the very first opportunity for the energy industry to even explore for oil and gas reserves in the Arctic would be 2023, likely precluding any chance of future development until the mid-2030s or later.
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